- CALIFORNIA CHROME COULD RACE NEXT YEAR
- MELATONIN WORKS A MILE FOR RICH CLASSIC
- BAFFERT’S ‘OTHER HORSE’ IN CLASSIC BREEZE
- STEVENS RIDES RUNHAPPY IN THE DIRT MILE
CHROME BREEZES AT LOS AL FOR CLASSIC
Good news for racing fans everywhere, and especially those of California Chrome: the most popular horse of the day and the greatest money earner in North American history could race again in 2017 as a six-year-old.
Trainer Art Sherman left the door open Saturday morning after California Chrome worked five furlongs at his Los Alamitos headquarters in 1:00.40 in his next-to-last major drill for the $6 million Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita in two weeks, on Saturday, Nov. 5.
Asked if there was any chance the five-year-old California-bred full horse could race again next year, Sherman said: “I’m not sure. It’s kind of up in the air. We’re talking about it, but it all depends on how he finishes up the year.
“There’s a lot of money out there if he wants to keep in training. He can run for $27 million next year.”
California Chrome was sired by Lucky Pulpit, who won three of 22 lifetime starts and stands for $7,500 at Harris Ranch. His dam was the nondescript Love the Chase, so his breeders hit the lottery with California Chrome.
Winner of six straight races,15 of 24 overall, and earner of $13,432,650, California Chrome had the $12 million Pegasus World Cup at Gulfstream Park on Jan. 28 as his likely farewell race before going to stud at Taylor Made Farm in Nicholasville, Ky., but those breeding plans now appear to be on hold.
Sherman, meanwhile, was pleased with Chrome’s work before sunrise and under the Los Al lights with exercise rider Dihigi Gladney aboard.
“Very good” is how Sherman termed the move. “The official clocker (Russell Hudak) gave him a minute and two fifths and a gallop out of (one) 13. I got him in 59 and four and out in 13, but it doesn’t make any difference.”
Added Hudak: “He was the first horse on the track this morning. He looked good. It was his typical work. He went off slow and had a nice finish, with fractions of 25 1/5 and 48 3/5. Gladney just kind of guided him around the turn in 1:13 with blinkers on and he got a five-eighths time of 1:00.40.”
Sherman plans to give Chrome his final pre-Classic breeze at six furlongs next Saturday before shipping to Santa Anita Sunday, Oct. 30, with an expected arrival time at The Great Race Place between 11 a.m. and 12 noon.
MELATONIN BREEZES A MILE FOR BC CLASSIC
Santa Anita Handicap winner Melatonin, training up to the Classic since his last start, a victory in the Grade I Gold Cup at Santa Anita on June 25, continued towards his ultimate goal with a one-mile workout Saturday in 1:41.20 under regular rider Joe Talamo.
“I’m very happy and Joe was very happy,” said David Hofmans, who trains Melatonin for Susan Osborne’s Tarabilla Farms, Inc. “Joe said he had a lot of horse left and we got a lot of air in him.”
Santa Anita clocker Dane Nelson caught Melatonin in fractional times of 26, 38.80, 51.60, 1:04.20 and 1:29.20.
Melatonin, a five-year-old gelded son of Kodiak Kowboy, is four for four at Santa Anita. The speedy bay has earned $1,218,552.
In other Breeders’ Cup news:
- Hoppertunity, Bob Baffert’s “other horse” for the Classic, worked four furlongs
in company Saturday in 47.80. “He went nice,” Baffert said of the bay son of Any Given Saturday, who will join Classic second choice Arrogate, also trained by Baffert, in the race.
“Hopper is not a great work horse, never has been, but he’s good, he’s happy, he’s solid and he’s doing well.” Hoppertunity’s running mate Viva Vegas was timed in 48 flat.
- FrontRunner winner Gormley (Juvenile), who had been expected to work
Sunday, went six furlongs Saturday in company under Victor Espinoza in 1:14 flat.
“We just moved it up a day. He’ll work again next Saturday,” trainer John Shirreffs said.
- Hall of Fame jockey Gary Stevens, who rode 2015 Sprint champion Runhappy to victory in the Grade I Malibu Stakes at Santa Anita in 2015, has the mount for trainer Laura Wohlers in the $1 million Las Vegas Dirt Mile on Nov. 4, according to agent Mike Ciani.
- Tara’s Tango (Filly & Mare Sprint) worked six furlongs in 1:13.80 for Jerry
Hollendorfer with Rafael Bejarano up.
- Other Breeders’ Cup workers Saturday included Daddys Lil Darling (Juvenile
Fillies), four furlongs in 47.40 for Ken McPeek; Dalmore (Dirt Mile), four furlongs in 50.60 for Keith Desormeaux; Finest City (Filly & Mare Sprint), five furlongs in 1:05.20 for Eric Kruljac; Kitkat (Mile), four furlongs in 47.40 for Sebastian Silva; Point Piper (Dirt Mile), five furlongs in 1:01.80 for Jerry Hollendorfer; With Honors (Juvenile Fillies), a bullet 1:12.20 for Keith Desormeaux, who sent out stablemate Majestic Quality (1:13.40) in company.
FINISH LINES: Apprentice Chad Lindsay scored his 39th career victory when he piloted All for Charity to a half-length victory for trainer Jorge Gutierrez in Friday’s second race. Come his 40th win, Lindsay will lose two pounds off his weight allowance and receive a five-pound advantage instead of seven . . . Jockey Norberto Arroyo Jr., who rode Spanish Hombre in Thursday’s eighth race, has been suspended three days (Oct. 27, 28 and 29) for causing interference resulting in the disqualification of his horse from second to fourth . . . Congrats to Roy Franz on the occasion of his 73rd birthday today. The hard-working gentleman has been dutifully serving customers at Clockers’ Corner and during the races for 28 years . . . XBTV host Aaron Vercruysse is Tom Quigley‘s guest Sunday, 11:20 a.m. in the East Paddock Gardens . . . Santa Anita hosts a Pumpkin Festival this weekend and next, Oct. 29 and 30. Experience a pumpkin patch unlike any other and watch the races while the kids enjoy an Infield festival packed with jumpers, a straw maze and a huge pumpkin patch. The event will be open from 12 noon until 4 p.m. For special packages, visit santaanita.com/events.
|SANTA ANITA STATISTICS|
|(Current Through Friday, Oct. 21)|
|Jockey||Mts||1st||2nd||3rd||Win%||ITM %||Money Won|
|Norberto Arroyo, Jr.||58||13||8||9||22%||52%||$514,554|
|Trainer||Sts||1st||2nd||3rd||Win%||ITM %||Money Won|